Summit’s Top 10 Tips to Prevent Bed Bugs

 MAKE SURE YOU REALLY HAVE BED BUGS, NOT FLEAS, TICKS OR OTHER INSECTS.

You guys, make sure you actually have bed bugs! Call Summit to have a free, no obligation inspection to determine if you in fact have a problem or not.

2. DON’T PANIC!

DON’T PANIC!This is the best advice for myself as I will certainly panic if I find bed bugs! It sure can be difficult to get rid of  bed bugs…but no matter what you’ve heard, it’s not impossible. whatever you do, don’t throw out all of your belongings because most of them can be treated and saved. Throwing your stuff out is very expensive, and may spread the bed bugs to other people’s homes and could cause more stress!

3. THINK THROUGH YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS — DO NOT IMMEDIATELY REACH FOR AN AEROSOL CAN.

Try and be comprehensive in your approach. Give other things a try first. Integrated pest management techniques may reduce the number of bed bugs and limit your contact with potentially harmful pesticides. If pesticides are in fact needed, always follow label directions or hire a professional. Summit is always here to help!

4. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF HIDING PLACES — CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER!

REDUCE THE NUMBER OF HIDING PLACES — CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER!A cluttered home provides more hiding places for bed bugs and makes locating and treating them so much harder. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using special bed bug covers (encasements) on your mattress and box springs makes it harder for bed bugs to get to you while you sleep. Leave the encasements on for at least a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.

5. REGULARLY WASH AND HEAT-DRY YOUR BED SHEETS, BLANKETS, BEDSPREADS AND ANY CLOTHING THAT TOUCHES THE FLOOR.

This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs (and their eggs) can hide in laundry containers and hampers… and remember to clean these too when you do the laundry.

6. DIY FREEZING MAY NOT BE A RELIABLE METHOD FOR BED BUG CONTROL.

DIY FREEZING MAY NOT BE A RELIABLE METHOD FOR BED BUG CONTROL.While freezing can kill bed bugs, temperatures must remain very low for a long time. Home freezers may not be cold enough to kill bed bugs; always use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Putting things outside in freezing temperatures could kill bed bugs, but there are many factors that can affect the success of this method.

7. KILL BED BUGS WITH HEAT, BUT BE VERY CAREFUL!

Raising the indoor temperature with the thermostat or space heaters WILL NOT do the job. Special equipment and very high temperatures are necessary for successful heat treatment. Black plastic bags in the sun might work to kill bed bugs in luggage or small items, if the contents become hot enough. Bed bugs die when their body temperatures reaches 45°C (113°F). To kill bed bugs with heat, the room or container must be even hotter to ensure sustained heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are hiding. If your exterminator suggests that you turn up your heat, fire him immediately.

8. DON'T PASS YOUR BED BUGS ON TO OTHERS.

DON’’T PASS YOUR BED BUGS ON TO OTHERS.Bed bugs are good hitchhiker. If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it and gets bed bugs. (Remember the VW commercial with the green chair)?

9. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF BED BUGS TO REDUCE BITES.

Thorough vacuuming can get rid of some of your bed bugs. Carefully vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around bed legs, and all cracks and crevices around the room. Change the bag after each use so the bed bugs can’t escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag and in an outside garbage bin.

10. TURN TO THE PROFESSIONALS, IF NEEDED.

Hiring an experienced, responsible pest control professional like Summit Environmental Solutions, can increase your chance of success in getting rid of bed bugs. If you hire an expert, be sure it’s a company with a good reputation and request that it use an IPM approach. Contact the Virginia pesticide agency for guidance about hiring professional pest control companies.

Now that I have completed this blog and am good and itchy…I will go home to my family and inspect the beds. Then, vacuum for hours just in case. Gah!

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